Visiting Crystal Lake Cave in Dubuque, Iowa was an unexpected stop for us on the way up to the Spook Cave & Campgrounds in MacGregor, Iowa. We had wanted to spend the day at Maquoketa State Park (tons of caves there!) but it was pouring rain so we opted to Crystal Lake Cave in Dubuque instead and I’m glad we did!
As you can see we weren’t disappointed with it’s beauty! I was expecting a larger body of water in the cave considering “lake” is in the cave name but this lake was more like a small pool of water high up in a crevice that was difficult to see. Unfortunately we didn’t get to spend long staring at it, but it made for some great quick photos!
As with most toured caves we’ve been in things are nicely lit and there were plenty of formations in Crystal Lake Cave to see.
Formations were nicely labeled…..even if we couldn’t always figure out what they were!
The field of soda straws in this cave are so cool! In fact there was SO many right above the walk way that a metal fence was in place to catch any that might fall and accidentally hit someone in the head. I’ve been to over 30 caves and seen all sorts of formations but the amount of soda straws at this cave in Iowa was crazy!
Although this photo is blurry Crystal Lake Cave is an endless weaving of underground tunnels, many of which are very tight and small compared to other caves we’ve been in. This passageway shown here is one of the largest areas we were in on our tour. I’m about 5’4″ and I still had quite a bit of ducking and maneuvering to do to get around. So if you’re afraid of small places this is not the cave for you!
As you can see we took the grandparents and kiddos along so it’s definitely a doable cave for those equipped to get around but I’d say about easy to medium difficulty for them. It’s really not bad as long as you are expecting a lot of bending and ducking to get through the tour….more so than other toured caves we’ve been in. The taller you are the tougher it is…..and if you’re carrying a baby. We may have been slightly puffing by the end of this cave tour but we’re rock enthusiasts so it comes with the territory! I’m glad I can check off another cave in the Midwest off of my list!